Interplanting Garlic with Greens

Here are two videos about garlic and inter-planting garlic with salad greens.

garlic and cilantro

I plant garlic here in southern Wisconsin in late October.  I plant the cloves along the top of ridges of a raised bed that has been shaped into three ridges (or two troughs).  After I plant the garlic I mulch it deeply with straw.

I plant the garlic on the tops of ridges in my dense clay soil because garlic likes to be well drained. I’m minimizing the chance of the garlic getting water-logged then frozen as it goes through our often very cold winters under its insulating straw blanket.

In spring, I pull back the straw and inter-plant salad greens of all types along the edges of the ridges and in the troughs.  The greens are somewhat protected from the sun by the garlic flags.  The inter-planting gets me two crops out of the bed at the same time.

The first video shows how I use both CobraHead tools to help me remove the matted down straw.  The second video explains the inter-planting process.

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6 Responses to “Interplanting Garlic with Greens”

  1. Nate says:

    Great tutorial on interplanting garlic. I’ll have to give this a shot. We have really dense soil around my town so I should do well with Garlic.


  2. Noel says:

    Garlic is a crop I can really count on. I can’t remember a complete failure ever. I’ve planted in April and it works, but a spring planting is not nearly as good as when it overwinters. There are many choices for garlic, big, small, hot, and mild. We plant hard-necks, because the flavor is more pronounced, but I’m pretty sure soft-necks store better. One of these years I’ll do a side-by-side planting.

  3. Penny says:

    Great idea! I’m thinking inter-planting will greens with onion would probably work well, too – and save space! Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Noel says:

    I can’t say yes or no regarding inter-planting with onions. A reason this method works so well with garlic is that the garlic is actually spaced quite far apart because it’s planted only along the tops of the three ridges of the raised beds, so there is a lot of room between the rows. I plant my onions in blocks, flat across the tops of my beds. They are planted five inches apart in all directions, six inches apart for the leeks I plant. I’ve never tried to inter-plant either crop. I would think that you certainly would want to harvest any greens before they got really large to where they might impede the onion growth.

  5. Jackie Davis says:

    Going right outside to plant various greens between all my garlic and onions. What a splendid idea. Love my Cobra Head, by the way.

  6. Athena says:

    Do you have an idea for a crop one could interplant with garlic after it emerges in the spring, that could succeed the garlic after harvest?

    I would even be happy with something to seed that could simply be a ground cover beneath the garlic to keep the roots cool during bulbing. I use white clover for this with non-alliums with good success, but obviously that is not suitable with garlic as a legume. I have had some success with marigold, provided the flower takes a late enough start for the garlic to get above it (May as opposed to March or April when marigolds sometimes get going), and provided there is sufficient water, as the flower will eventually out-compete the crop for moisture.

    It would be nice to find a cropping plant that could do this, however, even if it did take a stunt from harvesting’s soil disturbance. I hate having that bare, unproductive patch of soil during the heat of summer.